Murderer of Chinese overseas student receives half century prison sentence

Updated 2017-12-16 17:30:17 CGTN

Derek Barrett, accused of murdering his Chinese niece, has been sentenced to 46 years in jail, a local court in New South Wales, Australia, announced on Friday.

The body of the victim, Mengmei Leng, was found nude with multiple stab wounds in a blowhole in Central Coast, New South Wales last April. Barrett was later arrested on the allegation of murder.

Giving the verdict, Justice Helen Wilson described the crime as a "depraved and sadistic act by a man Leng used to trust."

During the trial, Barrett pleaded to all the charges and admitted that after the killing, he had hidden her body on the second floor of his house for two days, but adding that he was "so high on ice and synthetic cannabis that had no memory of the murder."

But the court dismissed the testimony on the grounds of the evidence of a blood test which showed Barrett was clean at the time of Miss Leng's death.

According to ABC News and the Sydney Today, Barrett also admitted that he had took photos of Leng while she was naked, after stabbing her.

The autopsy report revealed that Leng was stabbed at least 40 times with the fatal one being a 40 mm deep wound on her neck, which almost cut the throat completely.

Leng's families were sitting in the court during the hearing, calling for a life imprisonment. They left the courtroom without being interviewed.

25-year-old Ms Leng had completed a business degree at the University of Technology in Sydney and was living with her aunt, Barrett and her cousin at their home in Campsie while studying at the Sydney Institute of Interpreting and Translation.

Leng's death, as well as other similar cases, has drawn attention to the safety of Chinese overseas students.

On WeChat, one of the most popular social media platforms used by the Chinese, Leng's family asked for help when they discovered she was missing. The post was widely shared on social media and, three days later, local police matched a computer generated image of her with a missing people's report lodged by her family.

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